1950 Korean Peninsula

War torn Korean peninsula is another frontier of the tension between communism and capitalism. As e will see, the problem on Korean peninsula is not merely about classes but also intersected with gender and race.

Korean War is probably the most bloody confrontation between communism and capitalism in the 20th century.

Figure 1:Massive death in the battle of Triangle Hill

To build fences against Soviet Union, Kim Il Sung's North Korea and Red China, United States sponsored Syngman Rhee to build up his dictatorship regime in South Korea rather than a democratic country. [1] Rhee's regime was known for its corruption, inefficiency and authoritarianism and there were numerous student and worker protest against Rhee's regime. [2]

Kim Il Sung considered Syngman Rhee's regime was reactionary, capitalist and a puppey state built by Americans and decided to unify Korean peninsula on June 25th 1950. Rhee's defense collapsed in the first few hours and managed to occupy Seoul in only three days.[3]  Rhee promised United States that his government would stay in and defend Seoul. However, he decided to flee from Seoul and reestablish his government in Southern Korean peninsula. [4]

In July 7th,  United Nations approved United States' intervention of Korean War and since then Korean War was upgraded from a civil war to an international warfare. US army and navy landed Incheon (인천) on September 10th 1950 and pushed North Korea back to north of 38th parallel disregarding the alert from Beijing. [5]

As a response to the military progress made by United States and its allies, China joined Korean War in October 1950 and managed to push back United States and other ally forces to 38 parallel. [6]So far Korean War became the most bloody confrontations after World War II and eventually more than 350 thousands of people died in Korean War.

General MacArthur was thinking about nuking manchuria in 1950s.

Figure 2: Below is a figure of nuke armed aircraft in Kadena military base, Okinawa

The armistice was eventually signed because of President Eisenhower's nuclear blackmail [7] in Panmonjum(판문점) but the tension and danger of nuclear war still exist on Korean Peninsula even today.

Besides nuclear danger and tension in Korean Peninsula, another product of Korean War is the mutual defense treaty between United States of America and republic of Korea (South Korea) and US domination of South Korea. [8] The military treaty between United States of America and republic of Korea allowed United States to formally deploy army and build up military bases in South Korea. US military base in South Korea eventually became enclaves of United States. White men in US military bases were granted with lots of economic and political privileges. Those privileges would be further discussed in another post called "Yong san (용산구) Military base and legalized prostitution in Korea".

Figure 3: Massive Protest against Syngman Rhee by students in 1960s and ruthless suppress by the Government

The Syngman Rhee's policies of US-Korean relationship were also questioned by many Korean citizens. After tens of years of warfares and Japan's brutal colonization (First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War, 25 years of Japanese colonization, Second World War II and Korean War), Koren people want an independent state rather than Syngman Rhee's puppy regime. One of the reason is No Gun Ri massacre (노근리 민간인 학살 사건) by US army during Korean War. [9]

Figure 4: Bloody massacre in No Gun Ri by 7th Cavalry Regiment

No Gun Ri massacre was not acknowledged by US government until 1999 when formal investigation was performed by the government of South Korea and the United States. The United States did not offer any apology but provided a 4 million dollars plan for building a memorial in No Gun Ri and a scholarship fund.

Figure 5: Memorial of victims in No Gun Ri

Works Cited:
1: Hastings, Max (1988). The Korean War. Simon and Schuster. pp. 32–34. ISBN 9780671668341.

2: Hastings, Max (1988). The Korean War. Simon and Schuster. pp. 235-40. ISBN 9780671668341.

3: Stokesbury, James L. A Short History of the Korean War. Place of Publication Not Identified: Paw Prints, 2008. Print.

4: 만물상 6•25 한강다리 폭파의 희생자들. Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). 29 June 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010.

5: Central Intelligence Agency. "Two Strategic Intelligence Mistakes in Korea, 1950." Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, 27 June 2008. Web. 31 May 2017.

6: Weintraub, Stanley (2000). MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 157–58. ISBN 0-684-83419-7.

7: Zhao, Xue-Gong (1997). Eisenhower's Government: Nuclear Blackmail Policy in Korean War. _Nankai University (Philosophy and Social Sciences)_ 4:43-49.

8: “United States of America-Republic of Korea Treaty.” The American Journal of International Law, vol. 48, no. 3, 1954, pp. 147–152. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2213963.

9: Conway-Lanz, Sahr (2006). Collateral damage: Americans, noncombatant immunity, and atrocity after World War II. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-97829-7.


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